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Treasury announces Michael J. Hsu as new Acting Comptroller of the OCC

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Michael J. Hsu to be the new Acting Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) starting Monday, May 10, 2021. 

Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, made the following statement:

We look forward to working with new Acting Comptroller Hsu. The OCC has a great deal of work ahead. It has taken a number of missteps in the past few years that should be reversed, and that work must get underway as soon as possible.

“This week, at our #JustEconomy conference, Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell said he wants a joint rule-making effort with the OCC and FDIC to update Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rules. We are hopeful that Hsu will lead the agency to quickly rescind its flawed 2020 CRA rules and join with the Fed and the FDIC  in creating a new joint CRA rule that benefits both communities and the banking industry.

“We also urge the OCC to drop its opposition to Congressional efforts to block the Trump-era “Fake Lender” rule that allows banks to issue triple-digit interest rate loans on behalf of payday lenders to help them evade state consumer protections.

“The OCC should also rescind its updates to licensing regulations that make it harder for community groups to comment on bank mergers although banking law requires mergers to confer a public benefit. 

“Besides many policy changes, the Acting Comptroller will also need to start the process of transforming the organizational culture of the OCC. For much of its history, the OCC seems to have forgotten that it has a mission of ensuring fairness in the financial system, and that its clients are the American people…not the banks. With Michael Hsu in place as Acting Comptroller, the OCC has the opportunity to reverse many of the harmful actions taken during the Trump administration, to transform its approach to protecting consumers and communities, and ensure that communities and consumers can participate in an economic recovery.”

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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